Ricardo Lavolpe

Ricardo Lavolpe

Football manager infobox
playername = Ricardo La Volpe

fullname = Ricardo Antonio La Volpe Guarchoni
nickname =
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1952|2|6
cityofbirth = Buenos Aires
countryofbirth = Argentina
height =
currentclub =
position = Goalkeeper
youthyears =
youthclubs =
years = 1971-1975
clubs = Banfield
San Lorenzo
caps(goals) =
nationalyears = 1978
nationalteam = Argentina
nationalcaps(goals) =
manageryears = 1983-1984
2002-2006 2006 2007 2008 - Present
managerclubs = Oaxtepec
Queretaro FC
Mexico Boca Juniors
Velez Sarsfield
CF Monterrey

Ricardo Antonio Lavolpe Guarchoni, born February 6, 1952 in Buenos Aires) is an Argentine football manager. Lavolpe is a former Argentine World Cup winning goalkeeper and the former coach of the Mexican national team. He is known for his tactical flexibility during matches and abrasive manner, as well as chain-smoking on the touchline.

Playing career

In Argentina, La volpe played for Club Atlético Banfield and San Lorenzo. In Mexico he played for Atlante and Oaxtepec. He won the 1978 FIFA World Cup with Argentina, albeit as the reserve goalkeeper.

Managerial career

The Mexico years

Lavolpe has been a coach in the Mexican Primera División for several years, coaching teams such as Puebla, Atlante, Guadalajara, Queretaro FC, América, Atlas and Toluca. He has, however, had mixed results. He has a reputation for attacking football and for bringing along young players. As a coach, he led Atlante to the 1992-1993 season Primera División Championship.

World Cup 2006

His results as coach of the Mexican national team were good before the 2006 FIFA World Cup, as the team defeated Brazil to win the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup and easily qualified for World Cup and they performed well at the 2005 Confederations Cup, but he lost in quarter finals in the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and even though the Mexican squad finally beat Argentina, he lost in quarter finals in the Copa América 2004 (4-0 with Brazil), and he lost in the preliminary round versus Korea and Mali in the 2004 Olympic Games. He did manage to get the Mexican squad to 4th place in the FIFA rankings.

His results in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where considered poor, as he lost two games (Portugal in the group stage and Argentina in the round of 16), tied one (Angola) and won one (Iran). This was the first time Mexico lost a match in the group stage since 1978, when Mexico lost with Poland in Argentina.

Constant clashes with the press, club owners, Hugo Sánchez, and then, Cuauhtémoc Blanco took their toll on his popularity, pushing Lavolpe to threaten several times to leave the team. During the 2006 World Cup he told journalists: "Get out of my face! You know nothing. Don't break my balls, you fucking idiots." [http://football.guardian.co.uk/worldcup2006/comment/story/0,,1816453,00.html Best and Wurst] ] The feud with Blanco saw the striker allege that Lavolpe "does not have the trousers" to add him to the squad. At the squad's German training camp, Lavolpe reportedly spent much of his time eating doughnuts under a roped-off parasol.

During Mexico's first game in the finals against Iran, Lavolpe was seen chain-smoking in the dugout, leading to an official warning from FIFA that he was not allowed to smoke during a match. Lavolpe responded by telling FIFA's executives that he would "rather give up football than smoking," although he later consented.Fact|date=August 2007

After Mexico were eliminated from the round of 16 following a 2-1 loss to Argentina, Lavolpe's contract with the team was not renewed. He did not came back to Mexico to give a final report of the team's performance. He was criticized for this by the mexican press. This was despite winning plaudits in the international media for his handling of the Mexican team. Former Celtic coach, Martin O'Neill, praised his "tactical flexibility", while The Guardian named him "Coach of the Tournament".

Boca Juniors

After leaving the Mexican national team, he met with Boca Juniors officials on 24 July 2006. After several weeks of negotiation, it was agreed on 22 August that Lavolpe would take over as Boca manager on 15 September, replacing Alfio Basile who had been selected to manage the Argentine national team.

Lavolpe had a bumpy start with Boca Juniors, including a 3-1 loss against archi-rivals River Plate on October 8. On 12 October, Boca lost 3-1 to Uruguayan club Nacional on penalty kicks in the Copa Sudamericana, and so were out of the competition. Boca failed three times to claim the Apertura Championship in the final weeks of the season, and then lost a playoff against Estudiantes. In keeping with his word, Lavolpe resigned after the match.Later that year he become the new Vélez Sársfield manager, but did not stay in the job long. After watching his team suffer bruising defeats by River Plate and Boca Juniors in the Apertura 2007, and his team in 10th place, he resigned as coach.

Return to Mexico

In 2008, Ricardo Lavolpe returns to Mexico as manager of CF Monterrey. After several days of speculation, the decision was finally announced in the club's official website, as the replacement of former manager Isaac Mizrahi. He had a bumpy start, and didn't win until his fifth match. CF Monterrey finished the season in 8th place and had the league's leading goal scorer, Humberto Suazo. They entered the Liguilla and eliminated the best team of the tournament and the favorite to win the Torneo de Clasura 2008, Chivas de Guadalajara by an aggregate score of 8-5 in the quarterfinals. Many praised Lavolpe's tactics, strategy, attitude, and guts in the partido de vuelta against Chivas for not playing it safe and continuing to attack even though in the partido de ida, Monterrey won 4-1. After the partido de vuelta in which the game finished 4-4, fans and media said that this was the type of soccer they wanted to see and also began to praise "Lavolpismo" which is now being used to describe Lavolpe's style of play. Monterrey's success would end in the semi-finals in which they were eliminated by Santos Laguna after an aggregate score of 3-3 (Because Santos had placed higher and won more points during the season than Monterrey, they eliminated Monterrey even though they tied). Fans of Monterrey have spoken highly of Lavolpe for helping the team reach the playoffs again after two dismal seasons of not qualifying including a last place finish during the last season. Many are hoping he returns next season but only time will tell if Lavolpe decides to return to Monterrey.


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